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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/nickel-eye-1371491050.jpg The Time of the Assassins

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The Time of the Assassins

Rykodisc
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
February 5, 2009

As you might expect, the debut from Strokes bassist Nikolai Fraiture is, well, Strokesian. But it's far from a carbon copy of his other band. The Time of the Assassins is a mellow affair steeped in folk and pub rock and ska, with earthy instrumentation drifting up through the mix: acoustic fingerpicking, harmonica and, on "Where the Cold Wind Blows," some Chopin-style piano plinking courtesy of Regina Spektor. The Strokes-ish quality is in the music's rigor: Assassins combines groove and melody with the same machinelike precision that sets Fraiture's other outfit apart. Then there are the lyrics: woozy vignettes about big cities and bad romances, delivered in a seen-it-all drawl. If anyone's earned the right to bite Julian Casablancas, it's this guy.

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